Identifying and Addressing Medical Student Mistreatment in the OB/GYN Clerkship

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe the University of Michigan's approach to collecting and addressing medical student mistreatment data in the OB/GYN clerkship.

BACKGROUND:

The learning environment of medical students has become an important topic of discussion within professional organizations such as the AAMC and LCME. Medical schools have been charged with mitigating medical student mistreatment and enacting steps to promote a positive learning environment.

METHODS:

We collected the data on student mistreatment from end-of-rotation evaluations, teaching evaluations, and an online reporting system available to medical students. This data was then reported in a stepwise approach to faculty and residents.

RESULTS:

In response to the question, “Students are treated in a professional/respectful manner in this clerkship,” as rated by a 5-point scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree), OB/GYN received scores of 3.55 and 3.61 in 2016 and 2017 academic years respectively (range 3.49-3.83 on all the other clerkships). A total of 32 narrative comments were submitted by 340 students related to mistreatment or unprofessional behavior. Frequent themes included students being treated as ‘stupid’ or discouraged from asking questions (8 comments), being treated in an unprofessional manner by staff (7 comments), feeling ignored or marginalized by faculty (4 comments), and faculty unprofessional behavior towards others (4 comments).

DISCUSSION:

The students on the OB/GYN clerkship report a high rate of mistreatment. Efforts are being made to intentionally communicate those results to educators in order to improve the learning environment for medical students.

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